Ireland report on Catholic clergy sex abuse: deceit and deception continues

With every new revelation of Catholic Bishops conspiring with the Vatican to cover-up the sexual abuse of children by priests, my heart gets more and more heavy.

Today, it is a report of an Irish government investigation that revealed Catholic Church officials in Ireland (including a Bishop who had previously served as personal secretary to three Popes) covered up the sexual abuse of children over many years—and as recently as 2009 blatantly disregarded the Irish Bishops’ policies that required reporting to law enforcement.

Similarly, in January of this year, a Philadelphia Grand Jury grand accused the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of continuing to cover-up sexual abuse of children more than five years after an earlier grand jury report documented abuse by more than 50 priests.  Twenty-seven priests accused of abuse in Philadelphia, who were still working, were quickly put on administrative leave — even though the Archdiocese had passed the Catholic Church’s national child abuse audit with flying colors.

Yet, in Rome, and dioceses across the world, church officials spend hundreds of millions of dollars on studies and so-called “investigations” in an attempt to shield them from what is clear to any reasonably objective observer: thousands of priests, over decades, sexually abused thousands of children; church leaders knew of it, kept it secret, did nothing to stop it, and are still doing little or nothing to protect children or prevent child abuse. 

The arrogance and insensitivity of these leaders is stupefying.

This decades-long pattern of church leaders’ deception, denials and delaying the inevitable must come to an end.  But the Cloyne/Irish report and Philadelphia Grand Jury report show that it still has not ended.  Clearly, they are entrenched in their plan to continue with hollow apologies, half-hearted assurances to clean-up the mess and most pathetically, blame the whole kit and caboodle on gay people and the so-called permissive culture of the Seventies in the United States – when there are countless examples of child abuse by priests long before Woodstock.

But there is hope.  When governments, as Ireland and Philadelphia have demonstrated, have the courage to take charge and investigate the problem as a crime, not only against an innocent child, but against humanity, this deceit and deception will crumble—and justice will be done.

It is what the innocent survivors of this tragedy deserve and the people of a decent world must demand.

Link to Cloyne Report: